Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Red Bull not quick enough for pole yet – Ricciardo

2018 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull weren’t quick enough to be contenders for pole position in Bahrain despite qualifying within half a second of the front-runners.

After the first runs in Q3 Ricciardo was just three-tenths away from pole position. He dropped further behind on his final run but doesn’t believe the car was capable of beating the Ferraris or Mercedes.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018
Bahrain Grand Prix practice in pictures
“I guess part of me is frustrated because I’m still on the tail of that pack,” said Ricciardo. “And you look at four tenths and [think] it’s only four tenths but realistically I didn’t lose pole today, personally.

“The middle sector on my last lap was a tenth or two slower, I could have been maybe a tenth up the road but it still didn’t change the outcome. Generally I was pretty happy with it and to see the top five around four tenths its been a while since we saw that.

“Hopefully it stays like that in the race, we can bang wheels and have some fun.”

Ricciardo added he’s “not surprised Ferrari’s quick around here – weirdly it’s always been a strong track for them, at least from my memory.”

“But I thought Mercedes would’ve been quicker in quali. Looked like they were struggling a bit throughout the weekend for their standards. I thought in quali they would’ve turned it up. Maybe they chose not to use that mode this weekend to take the attention off, maybe they’re just playing the game.”

Red Bull’s rivals still have an advantage on the straights, he said. “I guess we lose all our time in sector one. I think they were doing 27.9 or 28.0 and I was like a 28.3. Most of the lap time was there.

“I think second and third sector we’re pretty close. It’s encouraging, the car seems decent, like it was in Melbourne, the chassis seems alright.

“With the engines not using quali mode tomorrow I would hope that it brings it really close.”

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2018 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Red Bull not quick enough for pole yet – Ricciardo”

  1. I thought in quali they would’ve turned it up. Maybe they chose not to use that mode this weekend to take the attention off, maybe they’re just playing the game.

    Or maybe in Australia it was just Hamilton nailing the lap and the difference cause by the “party mode”, which they use only for Q3, isn’t that big as people like to pretend. This time Bottas improved on his Q2 time with only one tenth more than Ricciardo did. Just like Hamilton improved with 2 tenths extra in Australia compared to Ricciardo.

    So it really looks like this “party mode” is good for only one tenth or perhaps two tenths maximum.

    1. Ricciardo seems to be pushy on this topic. It is no surprise that Lewis has 6 out of the last 7 poles in Melbourne.

      1. So has Mercedes.

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